Typha angustifolia   Lesser Bulrush C DD N

Typha angustifolia whole Typha angustifolia close

As the name suggests (Typha angustifolia) the leaves of the Lesser Bulrush are distinctly narrower (angustifolia means narrow leaved) but the other feature of this plant usually to be seen is in the reproductive parts. The male part above is often separated from the female by a gap on the stem but in the larger Bulrush (Typha latifolia) they are always continuous with one another.

The English name Bulrush unusually has caused some controversy in the past. This plant is called Bulrush now in Stace although I remember in my early years being corrected when I used that name. "This is a Reedmace not a Bulrush" I was told. In the older books the Bulrush is another plant: Schoenoplectus sp but you probably won't recognise it unless you're a botanist. The other interesting thing about this most famous of the rushes is that it isn't actually a Rush at all but a perennial herb which tends to grow amongst the grasses and true rushes of the water's edge.

Typha angustifolia is a common plant in England particularly towards the south east but it is far less common in Wales and the north of England. It is dotted here and there in southern Scotland but stays away from the north. In Ireland it is not common but mostly found in Northern Ireland.

River Nile in Southport Dunes 23rd July 2005

Added on 24th July 2005, updated 18th February 2012

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict